Geographic Information Visualization and Analysis (GIVA)

The GIVA group is responsible for teaching and research in geographic information science at the GIScience Center of the Department of Geography, together with the GIS and Geocomputation groups.

GIVA Mission

Discover and teach new insights on how to creatively design geographic information displays that encourage healthy engagements with the world.

Our Vision

Smart geographic information displays that offer equitable access to knowledge, are engaging to use, and empower all citizens to live a healthy and environmentally sustainable life, in a diverse, democratic, and mobile digital information society.

More on our research interests...

We develop adaptive visualizations of geographically relevant information for mobile, digital citizens
Emotions in New York City tweets during Covid-19
Flu in canton Bern, July 1918 - December 1919
Assessing the effectiveness of pedestrian navigation assistant systems
Dynamically changing map design based on neurofeedback and user emotions


  • Dr. Ian T. Ruginski, Bingjie Cheng, Armand Kapaj, Department of Geography, University of Zurich
    Millions of international citizens make decisions with and navigate using mobile phones, as GPS-enabled smartphone devices have become increasingly available to the general public. Along with this increasing use comes concern that we are losing spatial skills, which are vital to making our way around and solving spatial problems. This talk will discuss potential ways to balance the use of our brains and technology as we navigate through the world. How should we design mobile map systems that effectively and efficiently get us to our destination, while preserving our cognitive abilities? Specifically, we will discuss the impact of display design on navigation and how we should adapt mobile navigation assistance devices to individual users and contexts.
    > DSI Brown Bag Lunches

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  • The Impact of 3D Virtual Environments with Different Levels of Realism on Route Learning: A Focus on Age-Based Differences
    (Çöltekin / Fabrikant / Weibel / Wiener)

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  • Walk and Learn: Effects of Human-Centered Navigation Systems on Pedestrians’ Navigation Behavior
    (Richter / Fabrikant / Weibel)

    > EMOtive

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  • Last autumn, many people could not quite understand the choice of my Master's thesis topic "The Spanish Flu in the Canton of Berne". Three months and a pandemic outbreak later, however, things are quite different. 
    > Link Blog

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  • Michelle Korporaal's MSc thesis summarized in the paper "Effects of Uncertainty Visualization on Map-Based Decision Making Under Time Pressure" informs us that uncertainty visualization influences our decision making with maps.

    Feel free to check out the paper for other interesting findings.

    Congratulations Michelle, Ian, and Sara!

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  • > What is resilient GIScience education? For whom and against what?
    What is a resilient GIScience educator?
    What is a resilient GIScience student?

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  • Europe-Africa Panel #1

    > Youtube

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  • Prof. Dr. Sara Fabrikant and her co-authors have published an article on "Digital health and the COVID-19 epidemic: an assessment framework for apps from an epidemiological and legal perspective" in Swiss Medical Weekly. Congratulations, Sara!

    Link to the published paper:

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